KOCHI: The Kerala high court held out hope for childless couples with medical conditions and past age 50 after it allowed through an interim order a 61-year-old ailing man and his wife, 39, to extract and cryopreserve the husband’s semen.
The Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) Act that came into force in 2021 bars hospitals from providing IVF treatment to women above 50 and men above 55.
The high court made the exception because the husband suffers from a rare cardiac condition and his health is deteriorating. The couple said in their petition that his heart was functioning at a mere 40% capacity.
Justice VG Arun made it clear that order was issued under special circumstances. While allowing the couple to cryopreserve the husband’s semen, the court said “…in case of any untoward incident or further decline in the petitioner’s condition, the relief sought in the writ petition will be rendered infructuous”.
The petition said the wife had opted for infertility treatment before, but couldn’t continue because of financial constraints and the pandemic. When they decided to resume treatment at a hospital, they learned that the husband was not eligible as he was past the cutoff age of 55.